Recycle Cycle

Shopper at the recycling centre

I was at an un-named recycling centre (nee ‘tip’ or ‘dump’ as they used to be known) last week, when I spotted a rusted shopper – a Halfords own brand knock off of the folding Raleigh R20. I knelt down to snap a few photos on the ol’ camera phone, next thing I know a florescent jacketed workman is helping me to load it into the back of the car. The location will remain nameless as apparently one is not supposed to take stuff away from the recycling centre once it’s there. This to me seems like utter nonsense – In order I think the mantra goes something like ‘reduce, repair, reuse, recycle’ – with recycling at the end of the line. I’m sure there are very good reasons why operatives are not allowed to let people have things from the centre, but surely people taking stuff away is going to firstly make their job easier, and secondly it will put less pressure on landfill etc. Anyway – good on the team of bleeeep recycling centre for giving the bike to me.

It folded up nicely to fit into the car. On arrival at home I got it out of the boot and gave it a good look.

  • Wheels – 3 speed SA rear hub – still functioning smoothly – badly buckled – both rims steel and shot through with rust – verdict – rebuild wheels (actually get someone else to rebuild wheels would be more accurate).
  • Brakes – nothing a bit of WD40 won’t cure – no terminal rusting – blocks fine.
  • Cables – shot – verdict – will need replacing – white housing.
  • Tyres – front is original whitewall – shot into oblivion – tube stuck to it. Rear has been replaced at somepoint, but is heavily cracked – surprisingly the tubes are holding air fine – verdict – new tyres – (sourced through ebay)
  • Frame – minor rust on bottom of rear triangle where paint has scratched – verdict – treat rust – respray blue and white.
  • Seatpost and saddle – Saddle needs a cover and some cleaning, seatpost could do with being replaced or at least sanded off and painted.
  • Handlebars/levers/grips – handlebars will need sanding off and painting – levers are fine as are white plastic grips.
  • Bottom Bracket/chainring/chain/cranks/pedals – all good apart from the chain. Verdict – cleaned up well except for the chain which is to be chucked.
  • Stand/bell/lamp – all dead and removed.
  • Mudguards – very rusty – verdict – take off sand down and repaint – if they hold together that is.

The Shopper\'s chainwheel

This could be a fun project. I’ll try and do it as cheaply and quickly as possible. I think there is potential to make this into a very characterful and fun bike, saving it from being scrapped and hopefully give it a new lease of life. I’ll post regular updates and let you know how it’s going.

Published in: on May 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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New/Old Crankset

The postman brought me a package of sheer joy today. A few days ago I ‘won’ a crankset on ebay (it was easy, I was the only bidder). I’m going to use it on my rebuilt Alpine 10 (see the Bicycles of the Highway Cycling Group page for details of this bike). Although it’s new to me, it’s actually a 1949 Raleigh set, and that’s what really excited me, the ‘spider’ as it’s now known (the material between the outer cog and the hole for the shaft, nowadays that is ususally made of two separate materials bolted together, the spokes that join the cog to the centre now resemble a spider’s legs, hence the name) is cut from a single piece of material and instead of spokes, it’s cut into the shape of three herons’ heads, the heron being the symbol of Raleigh bikes, as seen on the headbadge of Raleigh bicycles, even today.
Raleigh crankset
As I’m converting the bike to six-speed I figured I needed a slightly smaller drive on the front, this one is about halfway between the two current rings on the Alpine 10, so it will give me a higher cadence in cruising, but will make the lower gears a little easier on the hills. To be honest I anticipate a lot of getting off to push on the big hills, but it is going to be a heavy bike with all the racks and stuff I’ve got planned for it. ‘Grinding the big gear’ to get up to 30mph is out of the question, I have to admit that at its best it only ever hit around 26mph on the flat anyway. I’m a long way off putting the cranks on, but it’s good to get everything ready, and at the princely sum of two of your British Pounds for the crankset, I just couldn’t resist buying now.

Right! No matter what the weather, I’m going for a big ride tomorrow morning.

Published in: on May 26, 2007 at 9:44 pm  Comments (2)